26 Oct 2018

Places in the semi-final stage of the Under 21 Men’s Singles and Under 21 Women’s Singles events at stake on the morning of the penultimate day of action, Friday 26th October, surprise outcomes rather than expected victories were very much the order of proceedings.

It was not the best of times for the higher seeded player.

by Ian Marshall, Editor

In fact in the quarter-final round of the Under 21 Men’s Singles event, three of the four contests witnessed defeat for the favourite.

Hong Kong’s Ng Pak Nam, the top seed was beaten by Japan’s Shunsuke Togami, the no.12 seed and defending champion (7-11, 11-3, 11-6, 11-3); likewise Denmark’s Anders Lind, the no.5 seed, lost to Moldova’s Andrei Putuntica, the no.16 seed (11-7, 12-14, 11-9, 13-11).

Similarly, in the all Japanese contest, there was a resounding defeat for Yuta Tanaka, the no.15 seed, he was beaten in the most one sided contest of the round by colleague, Kakeru Sone, a young man who had been required to compete in the qualification tournament (11-3, 11-3, 11-1).

The only contest to progress as anticipated was the straight games win posted by Romania’s Rares Sipos, the no.6 seed, in opposition to Korea Republic’s An Jaehyun, like Kakeru Sone, a qualifier (11-3, 11-3, 11-1).

Meanwhile, it was not too dissimilar at the quarter-final stage of the Under 21 Women’s Singles competition. Required to compete on the first two days of action in the preliminary rounds, Korea Republic’s Kim Youjin, Hong Kong’s Zhu Chengzhu and India’s Ayhika Mukherjee all emerged successful.

Listed at no.69 on the current Under 21 Women’s World Rankings, Kim Youjin accounted for China’s Guo Xinyi, likewise a qualifier but with no global status; she prevailed in three straight games (11-6, 11-7, 11-9). Similarly, Zhou Chengzhou overcame Korea Republic’s Shin Yubin, the no.4 seed; Ayhika Mukherjee ended the hopes of Japan’s Satsuki Odo, the no.2 seed (11-9, 11-9, 4-11, 11-4).

“It’s incredible. I have beaten several good players here. I am feeling great and I don’t know if my fairy tale will ever end. I am also playing in Women’s Singles later. There were many Indian players in this tournament but now I am the only one left. The hope of the nation lies on my shoulders.” Ayhika Mukherjee

Wins for three qualifiers, just one seed, the top seed emerged successful in the Under Women’s Singles quarter-finals; Japan’s Miyu Nagasaki bear Chinese Taipei qualifier, Kuo Chia-Yun.

At the semi-final stage of the Under 21 Women’s Singles event Miyu Nagasaki meets Kim Youjin, Zhou Chengzhou opposes Ayhika Mukherjee; in the same round of the Under 21 Men’s Singles competition, it is Shunsuke Togami versus Rares Sipos, Andrei Putuntica in opposition to Kakeru Sone.

Both events will be played to a conclusion later in the day.

Challenge Series 2018 Belgium Open Kim Youjin

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Day 3 - 2018 ITTF Challenge Belgium Open

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